Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Great Big Jeryl Anti-Interview

Alright, so I couldn’t think of anything better to do while I arranged the next set of free tunes for you bunch of ragamuffins, so I got a bunch of people I quite like to ask me questions about whatever they wanted to. As a reward for having to read it, I have organised a competition that you vinyl lovers will be happy with at the end.

Peter Rogers - Peter is the D&B reviews editor for Mixmag ( and produces rather good tunes under his guise of 'Technicolour' for Simon Bassline Smith's Technique Recordings (check out 'Half A Chance' big old tune!). I admire Peter greatly for his honest and editorially impartialistic (yes, a word I made up) views on reviewing Drum & Bass tracks, including his own releases. Thanks Pete.

Why doesn't ice sink?


What is your favourite shape?

I'm rather partial to a rhombus, actually I'm not entirely sure what a rhombus is, but I really love the word, it reminds me of 'rumpus' which is one of my favourite tabloid-y words to use, as is fracas and Muslim.

According to the dictionary a rhombus is "a parallelogram with four equal sides; an oblique-angled equilateral parallelogram", and any shape which has that much wordiness to its description has to be adored.

How could the worlds of drum & bass and cricket be brought together?

This is a great question and one that's very relevant in my mind. I believe that cricket and D&B already have a lot in common. Firstly they're both 'invented' by the English, who now seem to be fairly rubbish at the art forms they have spawned, and secondly they're both played with small, hard balls. I think an England cricket team made up of D&B's finest would be excellent, just imagine Goldie hitting a birdie or Andy C getting that home run.

Did I mention I'm not a big sports fan?

What is the worst tune nu urban have released?

Definitely something on Intrinsic or Westbay tbh. Just kidding, I’m actually very proud of all the music I’ve been lucky enough to release. Really, I guess that beauty is in the eye of the beholder on this one, and a lot of the music which I personally hate is often the stuff that sells really rather well, so who am I to judge?

Given that god is infinite, and the universe is also infinite, would you like a cheese and ham breville?

That's another bready question! (for non Red Dwarf fans, never mind)

SOS - SOS is a loyal friend and sometime contributor to this very blog (check her excellent Blame and Zero T interviews); I'm a great admirer of her writing. She also DJs under the name DJ Mayday and has other interesting stuff on her C.V. too. Thanks SOS.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Ah, one of life's great mysteries, and one that's obviously subject to mood. If we're talking ice cream then a solid vanilla goes a long way, but when it comes to milkshakes then chocolate is king. Overall I'm gonna run with chocolate, but I'm a vanilla fan.

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Hmm, well it's a second hand emotion apparently. Really though, I'm a lover, not a fighter. I've fallen in love with all sorts of things over the years, music, chemical highs, women (probably in that order too), and all in all it's been a satisfying and educational experience. I suggest we all get together and hold hands now.

I haven't seen my neighbour in about 4 weeks and I am starting to think he is dead. What should I do?

Hire a new one in from Poland, they're half the price of regular neighbours and they never ask to borrow a cup of sugar.

Khal - Khal is the editor of Dogs On Acid ( and a fine journalistic mind. His enthusiasm and humble approach to his work put me to shame, he's one man who really knows his musical shit and isn't afraid to air his views on anything. Big up sir!

Who do you honestly see as “the next big thing” in Drum & Bass?

This is a very difficult question. Right now I'm caught between two opposing views of Drum & Bass, on the one hand I love strong production values, but on the other I'm a big fan of content over presentation. I think for someone to really break through they will need to have a really good knowledge of production but not let over-producing their tunes become the dominant aspect of their sound. I couldn't say that these guys will be “the next big thing”, but I'm really loving the tunes of Icicle, Subwave, Brooklyn and the Brookes Brothers right now. Not that many people are really catching my ear at the moment, but these guys have something that sets them apart.

You’re a fan of the Ragga, right? What are some of your favourite Ragga tunes from back in the day?

I grew up on Jungle and Ragga-Jungle, when I was younger I had some 4xCD collection literally titled something like "The Best of Jungle" volumes 1-4. I can't claim to have a massive knowledge of the Reggae / Ragga tracks that were sampled, that wasn't really of interest to me, it was always about the new ways in which those samples were utilised. I also can't claim it was specifically the Ragga stuff that I enjoyed most either, I loved it all, and everything was so open back then, there were literally no musical stones left unturned.

Some favourites of mine from those CDs and that era in general which I still play out to this day are:

The House Crew - Superhero (My Knight)

DJ Solo - Darkage

Hyper On Experience - Lords of the Null Lines (Foul Play Remix) - double drop that bitch with Champion Sound, I dare ya!

E.Q.P. - Crackman (The Return) - anyone want to sell me a copy cheap? Mine is fucked!

Do you think Drum & Bass blogs will become the new Drum & Bass MySpace pages?

I shouldn't think so, they're pretty rubbish aren't they? I'm only doing this one because I'm bored.

Smithy (Total Science)Smithy is not only one half of legendary production duo Total Science, but is also the lovechild of Karl Pilkington and Phil Mitchell. When he’s not serving up pints in The Queen Vic or working closely with Ricky Gervais, he’s thinking up questions for my blog. Cheers baldy, love you xx

If you could pick one old skool tune to get a remix. what would it be?

Ah, the obligatory non-funny question, you’ve done well to get it out of the way first. On a serious note, I can’t think of that many times an old skool tune has been remixed in a way that has made my jaw drop or improved upon the original in a large way. However, that’s not to say I’m not keen to see that happen.

Things I’ve often been more keen on are when a producer from outside of the scene has a bash at remixing a D&B or Jungle track. Rabbit In The Moon’s remix of ‘Inner City Life’ was a record that I absolutely played to death in my teenage years. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone like Deadmau5 have a crack at LTJ Bukem’s ‘Atlantis’ or Hybrid reworking something by Omni Trio, maybe even Chemical Brothers thrashing out some old Dom & Roland tracks or something. A lot of old Moving Shadow stuff has the potential for amazing new remixes I think, from both D&B artists and people from outside D&B. Shame it won’t happen.

Why is Zero T Irish?

It’s a serious personality disorder that he’s suffered from for a long time. Not only does it make him slightly more likely to burn in the sun, give him a tendency to lean towards mild alcoholism and makes him almost impossible to understand on the phone, but it also lends him a melancholic disposition which is just hard to hate. I think being Irish works out rather well for him and he should keep it up, he’s a shining example to all the other Irishes out there and just goes to show what can be achieved when you apply yourself.

Do you like men?

Only in a sexual sense, I don’t really like to talk with them much, and cuddling is out of the question.

Richard Lock (Devolution Designs) Richard Lock is, for long winded reasons I won’t get into, one of the main reasons that I got into Drum & Bass journalism. He currently runs an outstanding design company ( and creates stunning artwork for a bunch of well respected people. He’s also the third tallest man I know. Cheers Rich you big bummer.

Is drum n bass still cool?

Definitely not. I’m not even sure it ever was especially cool. Maybe kind of cool in that “oh that’s cool because it’s really uncool and being uncool is pretty cool right now” way. It’s basically always been about one of two things in my estimation, flaming computer geeks sat in front of their PCs trying to out-nerd each other with the latest and greatest production techniques, or flick-knife wielding charvers tanked up on special brew and shit ecstasy all spoiling for a ruck at MC Convention.

Alright, alright, so these sweeping statements mean nothing and are, of course, ridiculously obtuse. But no, I don’t think it is cool, I don’t think it’s ever been very cool, and personally, I kind of like it better that way.

Why does Zero T have naked girls on his cover? (not that I'm complaining)

Is this what happens when I show you the other questions before you invent your own Richard? Ridiculous! Might as well make a rule that everyone has to ask a minimum of one Zero T related question!

Anyway, from what I hear, Zero T saw a series of perfume adverts in some magazine or other where the lady’s private parts were covered by a perfume bottle. This was apparently the inspiration behind the naked ladies. I’m not entirely sure what that has to do with a Drum & Bass album entitled ‘Cheap Shots’, but who cares? You can even see a small amount of nipple if you look closely.

What the fuck is this blog all about anyway?

Honestly, I’m not really sure. I got bored one day and decided to start it, I realise that I’m in a position where I can give away free stuff and generally help promote a few things which are close to my heart, which is what I’m doing with it. But that’s not really the reason, I guess it’s just something to fill up some time with.

Darren Ressler – Darren is the editor of Big Shot Magazine (, one of my favourite New York based dance music magazines (ok, it’s the only one I know). His high standards of journalism and impeccable judgement in hiring Drum & Bass reviewers are unparalleled, and as such I give him a huge thumbs up. Cheers Darren.

When are you going to stop beating your wife?

When she learns to do what the hell she’s told! Let’s be honest, women should be seen and not heard, demons in the kitchen, whores in the bedroom and other misogynistic stereotypes which probably explain why I don’t really have a wife.

(Potential applicants direct an email my way; I’ll happily check you out if you send a tidy looking résumé along with a recent photo).

Why is the sky blue?

God is an aesthetic genius. That and Rayleigh scattering.

How do we achieve world peace?

I think it would take incredible miscarriages of justice to achieve such a thing; essentially the world is so incredibly screwed we need some kind of dystopian reality to emerge to truly change the attitude of the general populace, and perhaps some kind of incredible prophets to see us through the dark times and into the light. That, or maybe aliens, they could encourage us in some way, either as an outside threat for us to concentrate our anger on, or as some kind of wise ‘father figure’ race who teaches us the right way to live.

Or maybe we should just all try being a bit nicer?

Free stuff?!

Yes, yes, as is so often the way, you have to give people some incentive to turn up and read this sort of bollocks. So, as a lot of you may know I get sent a bunch of free vinyl, and I work at a record distributor, so I literally have piles of vinyl sat around generally gathering dust and doing fuck all.

With that in mind I promise to send at least 20 brand new 12”s to whoever sends me the most interesting and/or funniest reply to any one of the above questions via email. Be warned, I withhold the right to publish any and all of the emails I am sent on this very blog, so be careful.

Email me – with ‘blog competition’ in the subject and one of you lucky buggers will be the proud owner of a bunch of white labels.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Zero T - Cheap Shots

It seems common, and maybe sometimes silly, for Drum and Bass producers to get lumped into merely one category of what is in fact quite a diverse genre of music. Though often being branded with the “Liquid” tag, it only takes a listen to his massive back catalogue to hear the dark and rugged fundamentals much loved on dance floors around the world, some dating back to even his earliest released material. Make no mistake: Zero T is a jack of all trades Drum and Bass wise.

“I guess as a producer you are always critical of your own work, but it’s only in the last 2 years that I feel I can really represent the ideas in my head into sound. Ive always approached music from a intuitive perspective, rather than a technical one and I think that shows in my 1st body of work (i.e. the LP).” When setting out to make the Cheap Shots LP, what is quite possibly his most demonstrative work to date, Zero T’s main goal was to show that he was, above all, a Drum and Bass Producer. In his own words, “One sound, many styles.”

For those who weren’t there to remember, back in 2001, Reinforced was responsible for giving a lot of newer artist the opportunity to reach a much wider audience (Sonic & Silver, Breakage) and Zero T was right there with production partner Beta 2. What started innocently as Beta2’s girlfriend bigging up the boys tunes to none other than Digital, Stretch and MC MG at an after party in Dublin and passing them a CD resulted in getting signed. “We thought that would be the end of it, only for Marc Mac to call and sign a track, which turned into and EP and a 12. We really couldn't believe it and sometimes I still can’t.”

Clearly not one to steal the glory for only himself, Zero T is known for being in the studio with different artists at any given time, a process he insists has been both positive and beneficial. “I think music making is all about getting a good vibe going in the room you’re in. If you have an affinity with another artist, and you get on well - it's a really good experience doing collabs! It’s also how I’ve learned nearly every technical aspect of production.”

The Cheap Shots LP features pairs Zero T with heavyweights such as Bailey, Alix Perez, and favourite Beta 2, among others. Shining in the spotlight alongside him is vocalist Steo, whose versatility and delivery make him an artist you will surely be hearing more about. “He produces incredible beats himself, this was how I discovered he could sing the way he can. On one of his loops was this entrancing falsetto vocal. I called him immediately to ask where he got it…it was him singing into him mum's PC.”

It was their first session which resulted in “Refusal” and solidified the working relationship between the two, and for this LP currently. “I think most producers who've been around a while get to the point where sampling vocals gets tired. I’ve been so lucky with STEO. Recording your own unique vocals somehow gives the tunes more value. The human voice is the most evocative instrument!” Steo is also a member of the Hip Hop trio Infomatics who just released their own LP.

Total Science’s C.I.A have been putting out releases for Zero T since 2001, so it’s not surprising that they offered (and he accepted) to release Cheap Shots. Their continuing working relationship has gone past just that, and has formed effectively into good friends that are more than happy to work together on a professional level. Who else could tell you the TRUTH about Q-Project’s hair (“Its not real…it's a helmet! I swear!!”) or the benefits of a solid working relationship between artists, labels and friends. “Another consideration was creative control,” he says, “which knew I would be given by the lads, even down the artwork. That freedom was certainly appealing for a debut LP.”

The rest of 2008 shows no signs of slowing down for Zero-T and the LP is really only just the beginning of a string of releases coming this year. Be on the lookout for Dillinja and Lemon D remixes for V Recording, an EP for Integral (including a Calibre remix of Refusal. Whoa!), remixes of Q-Project, J.Ralws + Middle Child, Atlantic Connection and Specific and Sabre. And if that isn’t enough, you can watch out for the debut 12” on V with Steo and Calibre. “If I find time in between all that, I will launch my own imprint towards the end of the year; BARE MINIMUM Music.” Given his back catalogue, one does not doubt that he will find the time to complete it all. Possibly more.

Words: SOS

Competition: Win a copy of 'Cheap Shots'

To get your hands on a copy of Zero T's debut album for Total Science's CIA Recordings, simply email with the words "zero t competition" in the subject heading. We promise not to send you any emails telling you you've won the lottery, but we may email you with Drum & Bass related information.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Insider Trading

There are many rumours circulating the Internet about Inside Info, most are false. However, one of the ones that is true is that this man makes some of the most technically ridiculous, and powerful music known to man (this claim has not yet been subjected to independent study). Citing, of all things, a novelty radio watch as his initial musical inspiration, it was at the tender age of ten years old that Paul Bondy discovered pirate radio stations and the early sounds of hardcore and proto-jungle through his wrist.

Sucked into the innovative sounds it wasn’t long before Inside Info, or Paul to his friends, began to become infatuated with broken beats and, after receiving a copy of ‘Rave ‘92’ as a Christmas present, began to delve deeper into the world of dance music: “I used to be obsessed with computer games and I bought loads of computer game magazines when I was younger” he explains “I remember buying Gamesmaster which had an interview with The Prodigy in there. I knew them because of the tracks they had on ‘Rave ‘92’. This was just as they were about to release the ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ album and I remember thinking “I HAVE to get that!”, so I picked it up. When I was old enough I bought tickets to one of their live shows, the way they played live fascinated me, and I was stood there wondering what the hell was happening behind the racks of equipment!”

Rewinding slightly from what has obviously become a great source of inspiration to Inside Info, it was the emerging sound of jungle that began to really catch his ear, eating up every compilation and radio show going, from ‘Jungle Massive’ to Randall’s show on Kiss FM. However, Inside Info was the only one of his peers who showed love for the clattering breaks and sub bass hits that are all too familiar to junglists of today, and he left the path to pursue other musical interests, heavy rock and metal.

In his own words though, it wasn’t long before he got the urge to revisit his musical past: “I remember one day waking up and thinking “I wonder what the hell jungle music sounds like nowadays” so I checked the radio listings and saw that there was a jungle drum and bass show on Kiss 100 really late in the evening. I stayed up and listened to it and I remember being completely blown away and wondering how the hell I’d ended up not listening to it. It was around the time ‘Bambaata’ was released, that was the tune that got me right back into D&B.”

Discovering DJing through some friends who played garage, Inside Info decided to buy his own decks and immersed himself in the world of playing music. Like many though, the desire to create his own sounds swiftly followed and Paul saved every spare penny that he wasn’t spending on records to buy himself a Roland MC505: “While at college I started doing more and more work, I worked as an assistant to a plumber, then an electrician, and painting and decorating. I remember redecorating my Nan’s spare bedroom for her and she gave me some money towards it too. Eventually I got my hands on one and made a few tracks which ended up in the hands of DJ Pappa G from Kool FM. He was impressed with my early progress and came down to my studio and showed me how to sample breaks and all kinds of stuff.”

Forming a partnership with a friend, the name Inside Info started out as a duo, they worked hard in the studio and landed themselves a show on Origin FM where they would play their new tracks, getting feedback instantly from the hordes of D&B fans tuning in each week. After a while the partnership went their separate ways, and Paul kept on the Inside Info name, taking out a loan to buy a proper studio setup and diving headfirst into his production, mixing up all the different sounds he loves and wrapping it in Tech. It wasn’t long before this unique tracks caught the ear of one DJ Hype, and his first release, ‘Concentrate’ b/w ‘Rumble On Signal’ was snapped up for his Ganja-Tek label.

Since that fateful signing, Inside Info’s tunes have been at the forefront of many a major player’s box, and with tracks signed to a selection of fine labels, including Horizons, Viper and the incredible anthem ‘Skyhook’ on Lifted’s sub-label, Breed12Inches, Inside Info is finally getting the props that his years of hard work have earned him. Look out for a slew of hot material forthcoming on Critical, as well as some choice remixes in the near future. If you want our trading tip, you’ll want to be picking up some Inside Info bits for your box, deadly.

Er, free tune then?

Yes yes yes, we hear you cry, but where’s our free Inside Info track? Well, you lucky little beggars, it’s here, and it’s a corker! Mr. Info has kindly donated his immense, and rather disgusting, ‘Angel Way’ to give away on our fair blog.

Please, if you want to repost this track then by all means do so, but give us, and Mr. Info a tip of your cap by linking back to us both.

Click here for the tune

Click here for Inside Info's Myspaz